Thursday, May 28, 2020

Welcome to: BS with Billy

My personal blog spot. Forget the old one at, it got hijacked and now leads to some other site selling who knows what.

So, what is BS with Billy? Well, as you know BS can mean a lot of things. 

Bible Study, Basic Stuff, Boring Stuff, of course, my initials and just plain BS about stuff and life in general as seen through the eyes of me. Unless otherwise stated, the reflections, thoughts, ideas and BS you read here is all mine. 

Your comments and dialogue are welcome. Please keep your comments respectful, civil and language appropriate. And since this is my website, I can and will only post those comments which follow rules of respect and civility. Thank you.

Billy Strayhorn

Why Do We Do What Jesus Said Not To Do? And NOT Do What He Said To Do?

The Inconsistencies of Christians.

The events of the last few years as well as the response to the Supreme Court Decision on Gay Marriage has made me ask, "Why is it that as Christians we continue to do the very thing Jesus explicitly taught/told us NOT to do and NOT do those things He told us TO DO? What am I talking about? 


Now I have never claimed to be a perfect Christian. All any of us can truly claim is that we not only believe in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the Living God but we trust Him as our Lord and Savior; trust the Grace and forgiveness which only Jesus can offer and seek to live like Him as one of His disciples.  For over forty years as a United Methodist pastor, that was what I sought, to be like Jesus and lead my congregations to be like Jesus.


While not perfect, John Wesley called that lifestyle going on to Christian Perfection. Every United Methodist Clergyperson is asked the same questions at some point during the Ordination process, "Are you going on to Perfection? Do you expect to be made perfect in love in this life? Are you earnestly striving after it?" The answer is: "I am, with God's help."


All of that was just to say that I don't consider myself 'perfect." Never have, never will. I'm just seeking to be a perfect disciple and trying to grow every day. And just as it happens for others, some days are better than others.


So back to the question. Why We Do What Jesus Said Not To Do? And NOT Do What He Said To Do?


Very clearly in Luke 6:37 Jesus said, "Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned." And he didn't just say it once. He talked about judging others a lot. How dare you point out the splinter in your neighbors eye while you've got a log in yours. That sort of thing. The Apostle Paul even picks up on this in his letter to the church in Rome. Asking in Romans 14:10 "Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister?"


And very clearly Jesus not only instructed about loving our neighbor but made it a commandment.  During his last meal with the Disciples before His arrest and crucifixion, as recorded in John 13:34-35 (NRSV) Jesus said, "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." Jesus even taught us to love our enemies. In Luke 6:27-28 "But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.


The Apostle Paul even devotes an entire chapter in his letter to the church in Rome to the subject of how we are supposed to love and what the qualities of love look like. We here most often at weddings, but it was written to a church in turmoil. In the end, Paul surmises, "now faith, hope and love abide, but the greatest of these is love."


So, I ask again. Why We Do What Jesus Said Not To Do? And NOT Do What He Said To Do?

There's a part of me that thinks it's because we've forgotten how to love anyone but ourselves. There's a part of me who wants to dismiss it as part of the fallen nature of humanity. There's a part of me which thinks it has to do with our own uncertainty about our faith and our future, so we lash out in defense. And there's a part of me that wants to sit in the very judgment I'm talking about and condemn those who sit in judgment, gleefully waiting for God to strike them dead, but then I'd be just like them. It's all of these and maybe none of these.


I still believe that Love IS the answer. Not romantic love. But the hard love, unconditional love. The kind of Love Jesus showed us. Love filled with mercy. Love filled with grace. Love filled with forgiveness. Unconditional love like God's love. Love like Paul described.


1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude.

It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth.

It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends.

And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.


Until we can truly love our neighbors and our enemies with Christ like love and quit sitting in judgment of each other; until we DO what Jesus taught and quit doing what Jesus told us NOT TO DO; we will never be able to move forward on any issue. We will never get past name calling. We will never tear down walls and build bridges. They only thing we'll do is tear down bridges and build bigger walls.


We're called to be disciples, followers of Jesus, not just believers. And the hardest act of discipleship we have as followers of Jesus is loving God and loving each other. 

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